So, I know what you’re thinking: “Bedtime Yoga? Please don’t tell me there is a new yoga craze out there.” Rest assured we didn’t reinvent the wheel! In today’s society our minds are continuously active, making it hard to get a good night’s rest. Yoga is the science of connecting the mind, body and breath. When all are aligned it’s easier for us to find peace and sleep through the night. Here are 5 yoga poses you can do in the comfort of your bed that can help you drift off to sleep. So, turn off your TV, put your phone on silent, and close your eyes.
1. Ujjayi Pranayama
Just breathe! Breathing is one thing we do throughout the entire day and pay little attention to. Start off seated in your bed with your legs crossed, or if that is not comfortable for you find a seated position that is and close your eyes. Take a few cleansing breaths. Bring your hand in front of your face and inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth, breathing onto your hand as if fogging up a mirror. Do this three times. Then close your mouth and engage those same throat muscles as you inhale and exhale through the nose. This creates a whisper sound as you breathe. Repeat this for about 5 minutes, allowing the breath to ease the body from everything it endured during the day.
2. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
Start by sitting on your knees, then bring your big toes to touch, take your knees apart, sit your hips on your heels and bring your torso and forehead down towards your bed. You can have your arms extended out in front of you or back towards your hips. If your head doesn’t touch the bed that’s okay, you can put a pillow down in front of you and rest your forehead on the pillow. Hold this pose for about 5 minutes, still staying connected to your ujjayi breathing and feel your body melt down onto your mattress.
3. Reclined Butterfly (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Slowly sit up from Child’s Pose and place a pillow behind you, with the short side up against your buttocks. Face forward and bend your knees toward the ceiling, keeping your feet flat on your bed. Recline back slowly, allowing your spine, neck and head to relax gently on your pillow. If your pillow is too short for your torso and your head hangs past your pillow, remove your pillow and lay flat on your bed. Relax your arms out to the side and gently release the knees away from each other down towards your mattress. If your knees have trouble going down all the way, you can place a pillow under each knee for support. Hold this pose for about 3-5 minutes. You can place one hand over your heart and one hand on your stomach, feeling your breath as it moves up and down your body.
4. Simple Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)
Laying flat on your bed hug your knees into your chest rocking side-to-side to release any tension in your lower back. Bring your body to neutral and extend your arms out to the side like the letter T. Take your knees over to your right-hand side, while turning your head to face left and breathe into your twist. If this is difficult for you, you can put a pillow between your thighs for added support. Hold this for a count of 10 inhales and exhales. Then repeat on the other side. After doing this pose extend the arms and legs away from each other and take a full body stretch.
5. Legs Up the Wall (Viparita Karani)
Sit close to and face your headboard or the wall, move your hands behind your hips, lean back and kick one leg up at a time onto the wall. Bring your hips as close to the wall as you can and keep your legs straight above you. Recline back and release your arms out to the side. If you have tight hamstrings and find it difficult to straighten your legs, move your hips and torso away from the wall. If your hamstrings are more open you can opt to move closer in for a deeper stretch. Do whatever feels best for your body. Close your eyes and connect to your breath letting go of anything from earlier that day. This pose calms your nervous system and allows the blood to flow back into your heart. It can be held for 5-10 minutes.
When you’ve finished doing bedtime yoga, get cozy under the covers and close your eyes. Sweet Dreams…
About the Author:
Sabrina Zellis started her yoga path with a dream board and a need for change. Realizing she wanted to live mindfully in the modern world, she took a leap of faith to be a full-time yogi.
Sabrina completed teacher training in Fiji with YogaWorks and is now a 200 RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher). She considers herself a fruit loop in a world full of cheerios and works hard to find the namaste in each day.